This morning, I had a Phillip K. Dick moment when I (in a rare moment of self-involvement) was surfing the Internet and stumbled upon an advertisement for a used (!) copy of my as-yet-nonexistent, soon-to-be published book. The Internet site assured me that there was "one used copy available'' and that I could get it in a week or so -- even though the book won't be published for five months!!!
I wondered to myself, "how can there be a used copy of a document that doesn't exist? And what would happen if I whipped out my credit card and pressed the 'order' button? If I did such a thing, what would the postman deliver? I had a vision of opening up a large manila envelope and having an amorphous Rosemary's Baby bolus of future prose slither out of the envelope and land with a plop on my apartment floor. In a panic, I called my publisher, who assured me that no book would arrive "until the book actually comes out.''
In other news, I fainted slightly at the Haight Street book shop while reading Karen Russell's intense new story about vampires in the latest All-Story. There are many spooky parts and references to blood in this one, and it was too intense for me. I began to plummet, face first, toward a teetering pile of Iowa Reviews before catching myself in mid-swoon. I'm not making this up. They should put advisory stickers on these things.